Mobility

Autonomous Cars, Level 0 to 5 Explained

Self-driving, autonomous cars occupy a weird space in the modern, American psyche. To some, they’re part of a futuristic, Utopian vision of safer, cleaner vehicles that could fundamentally change the nature of transportation ownership for the better. To others, they represent a bleak and soulless tomorrow that will see entire industries gutted, leaving millions unemployed. To others still, it seems like they’ve already been around a while, in some form or another, and nobody really seems to care– and that’s where things tend to get tricky and people start asking questions. As such, we’ve decided to answer a few of the most common questions that have come up about self-driving cars in our first “Enrg.io Explainer”. Enjoy!   Level 0 | Zero Autom...

Electric Car Sharing Set to Launch in Sacramento

Over one hundred EVs are being deployed in a car sharing initiative brought to Sacramento by Envoy and Electrify America. 142 Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars will be available in the Sacramento area by early 2019 at 71 locations. The first of the EVs are located near the Whispering Pines Apartments in Meadowview. They can be rented by the minute, hour, or day. Envoy’s co-founders, Aric Ohana and Ori Sagie, answered some questions about the program for CleanTechnica.   VW e-Golf Set to Star in Car Sharing Plan 1. How many vehicles will be used in the electric car sharing program? The initial deployment in early November was 20 vehicles at 10 multi-family properties. By early 2019, our fleet will eventually feature more than 140 vehicles in over 70 different locations across Sacramento ...

LA 2018: Volvo Shows Off Autonomous Car Breakthrough

While I was busy scribbling away at our annual Best Fuel Efficient Motorcycles list, the 2018 LA Auto Show (going by the name, “Automobility 18”) got underway with announcements from several major brands. I’ll kick that coverage off, then, with one of my favorites: Volvo. Volvo did something pretty wild in LA, too. They didn’t show a single car. That’s right. No shiny, new S60 sedan. No tire-shredding Polestar hybrid supercar. Not even an electric version of the hot-selling XC40 crossover. No cars, then– just “an experience”. An experience, and some ground-breaking new lidar technology that will help make autonomous cars exponentially safer in complex, high traffic situations. New tech that makes future cars safer … gotta love that, rig...

Ford and Walmart Launch Self-driving Delivery Service

Ford is pushing forward with its autonomous driving service, having recently expanded into the symbolic swamp of Washington DC. This week, though, Ford took its self-driving cars to a more literal swamp. The Everglades. Miami. The blue oval company isn’t going it alone, however. For this latest venture, Ford will be partnering with Walmart and Postmates, who will use the company’s self-driving cars in a bid to gain some positive PR and, they hope, upstage rival PR stuntmasters delivery shopping service, Amazon. This partnership doesn’t do much for me, personally– but I’m not much of a Ford buyer/Walmart shopper, so what do I know? Check out the official press release, below, then let me know what you think of Walmart’s automated delivery plan in the comm...

Ford’s Self-Driving Business Development is Headed to Washington

Ford is pushing hard to build a self-driving mobility business within itself. It makes sense for them, as the company has been a textbook example of vertical integration for decades. Still, it’s going to take more than product development, manufacturing expertise, and a national dealer network to ensure that Ford is successful in its new venture. It’s going to take some politicians, too, which why Ford plans to be the first company to test its autonomous vehicles in Washington, D.C. You can get all the details from Ford’s in-house PR magazine, Medium, below. Once you’ve read through it, let us know what you think of Ford’s plans to “take on Washington” with its autonomous cars in the comments section at the bottom of the page.     A Monum...

Volkswagen Ramps Up its E-mobility Program

Volkswagen is spending more than $40 billion to get past its dieselgate scandal. Slick electric products like the Volkswagen ID Buzz (read: new-age Microbus) are going to be the customer-facing side of those dollars, of course– but it doesn’t end there. VW plans to make its electric ID line available to more people than ever. “The ID. will prove to be a milestone in terms of technological development,” says Christian Senger, Head of the Volkswagen E-Mobility product line. “It will be the first fully interconnected electric vehicle that is 100 percent suitable for day-to-day use, and millions of people will be able to afford it.” So, yeah– anyway, here’s a massive press release from VW that touts the company’s new MEB vehicle platform and gets into all th...

Ford Partners with GoRide to Improve Detroit Healthcare

No one is invulnerable to tragedy, and when it strikes, help can be hard to get for many. Whether a grandparent has had a fall, or a loved one has suffered a stroke, they need assistance. Getting medical care after an accident, injury or an illness can be very difficult for many people, especially for those whose injury or illness prevents them from driving. So how are they to get to important medical appointments? Ford Motor Company has realized this problem and has partnered with Detroit Medical Center to help the Detroit community solve this issue. GoRide is Ford’s non-emergency medical transportation service. It provides those with physical and financial limitations with reliable, safe transportation to their doctors appointments and medical treatments. Their drivers are trained ...

Autonomous Volvo 360c Revealed, Asks: Why Fly?

Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m staring down a 400 mile flight, I find myself thinking I’d rather just drive. Sure, that’s 5-6 hours out of my day. So, too, however, is the flight. Let’s say it’s a two hour flight. I need to get to the airport an hour before, at least. That’s three. Around an hour to get to the airport, park, and make my way in? Another hour, so I’m up to four. Once I land, I need to get my luggage and find a rental/shuttle/whatever, so I’m at five. At least. It looks like someone at Volvo has done a similar kind of math, because the company’s latest concept car, the Volvo 360c, is all about driving rather than flying. Built like a first-class airline pod, the new Volvo 360c coddles up to four passengers in relativ...

GM Plans to Make Every Cadillac an Autonomous Cadillac

GM took the fight to Tesla and Volvo when it announced the availability of the new Super Cruise autonomous driving feature. The feature was more or less expected to take center stage in Caddy’s more expensive models, but now it seems like GM’s commitment to the autonomous Cadillac concept is more serious. Serious enough, anyway, to make Super Cruise available on all its cars by 2023. You can check out the official GM press release, below, along with a short video highlighting how Super Cruise is to use. Whether or not the tech will live up to the hype is another story, of course, but an autonomous Cadillac sounds pretty cool to me. How does it sound to you?   Cadillac to Expand Super Cruise Across Entire Lineup Super Cruise to roll out to other GM brands V2X communication ...

Greenwashing Deforestation w/ T-log Autonomous Truck

I didn’t think it could be done, but here we are. It’s 2018, and a Swedish company has found a way to greenwash deforestation by removing the two most wasteful elements on the trucking side of the logging industry: the diesel engine, and the human driver. When Einride first showed its trucking concepts last year, they were aimed more towards commercial goods shipping that logging. Back then, the company claimed it would have its first completed truck available to customers in the fall– that came and went, obviously. Still, it’s worth noting that the progress being made on Sweden’s “unlimited range” electric highway system should make Einride’s pitch and product development a bit easier to put into practice. “Such roads will allow (electric ve...

Roborace Autonomous Car vs. Goodwood FOS

Later this summer, Roborace will make history by sending their electric, autonomous car to the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb. Once there, Roborace hopes the car will perform a lot better than OK, and help to establish both the car and the brand as a for-real racing series in the eyes of the motoring world. “We are excited that Lord March has invited us to make history at Goodwood in this attempt to be the first to face the climb to the hill in a completely autonomous way, using exclusively artificial intelligence,” says Lucas di Grassi, the Formula E championship driver and ambitious CEO of Roborace. The Goodwood event will take place between Thursday July 12 and Sunday July 15, and Roborace fans will be able to experience the Hillclimb from “inside” the car ...

China Announces Autonomous Car Testing Rules

The government of China has unveiled new national self-driving vehicle testing guidelines, the China Daily newspaper has revealed. That report cited the country’s vice industry minister, Xin Guobin, who made some interesting comments about the global push to develop commercial self-driving vehicle systems. The new rules themselves are pretty straightforward, simply laying out a development pathway that begins with testing on non-public roads and is followed by testing on designated roads. The requirement is laid out clearly that there has to always to be a safety driver present and ready at any time to take over. “To ensure the safety of road tests, we will not only not only require that road tests take place on prescribed streets, but also that the test driver sits in the driver position ...

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